Zucchini Fritters

Serve up this summery dish as a side or appetizer.

zucchini fritters on a plate with dipping sauce
Photo: Photographer: Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
40 mins

By the end of summer, we're looking for any and all ways to use up our summer zucchini, from Baked Zucchini Fries to Zucchini Bread. Enter these crispy Zucchini Fritters, which are packed with fresh zucchini flavor while delivering a mouthwatering crunch—and paired with our flavor-packed dipping sauce, you won't want to share a bite. Here's everything you need to know about making and serving Zucchini Fritters.

How Do You Keep Fritters Crispy?

The perfect fritter, whether made with zucchini, corn, or collards, must be dry enough on the outside to fry up crispy but still light and moist on the inside.

To achieve this balance, we first make sure to extract as much liquid from the zucchini as possible, as too much water will yield soggy, heavy fritters. Then, we minimize the binders in our mixture, using just enough flour and egg to hold the fritters together but not so much that they become dense and lacking in zucchini flavor.

Finally, we keep the frying temperature at medium, ensuring that the inside of the fritters will be fully cooked by the time the outside achieves that beautiful golden-brown finish.

How to Make Zucchini Fritters

To make Zucchini Fritters, grate the zucchini and place it in a colander. Salt the grated zucchini to draw out excess liquid, and let it drain—this is step one of extracting the water.

Before mixing the zucchini with the other ingredients, transfer it to a cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel, and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. In all, you should end up with about 12 ounces of zucchini juice. If you're short of that by more than an ounce, keep squeezing.

grated zucchini

While the grated zucchini drains, stir together all the dipping sauce ingredients, and set it aside. While this might seem like a fussy dipping sauce for such a humble dish, the sauce it what sets good fritters apart from great. Plus, you can have fun and experiment with the sauce if you're in the mood for a little mixology fun.

sauce ingredients for zucchini fritters
Photographer: Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

Next, combine the drained zucchini with the other fritter ingredients. We like to stir them using a fork so as not to smash the delicate zucchini to a paste, which would change the texture of the finished fritters.

zucchini fritter ingredients
Photographer: Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

Once everything is combined, it's time to fry: Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, drop 2-tbsp. balls of zucchini mixture into the pan and flatten them with a spatula—this prevents any excessive handling, which can also make the fritters dense and heavy.

Fry until golden brown on each side, then cool on a paper towel-lined plate.

cooking zucchini fritters
Photographer: Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

How to Serve Zucchini Fritters

There are numerous ways you can serve Zucchini Fritters. Top each one with a dollop of dipping sauce or sour cream, and they make a dreamy passed hors d'oeuvres.

Piled high on a platter, they make a great appetizer, side dish, or even main dish for a light meal. They would also be delicious as the base for Eggs Benedict.

In place of the tasty dipping sauce below, you can also serve the Zucchini Fritters with barbecue sauce or garlic-chive sauce.

How to Store Zucchini Fritters

If you're making your fritters ahead of time or have a few left over, you can refrigerate them, separated by parchment paper for a few days. You can also freeze them the same way. To serve, defrost at room temperature then reheat on the stove until warm.

Editorial contributions by Alyssa Sybertz.



  • 3 medium (9 oz. each) zucchini or summer squash, grated (5 cups packed)

  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, divided

  • ½ cup (about 2 1/8 oz.) all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/3 cup), plus more for garnish

  • ¼ cup chopped scallions (from 2 small scallions)

  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder

  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon), divided

  • ¼ cup canola oil or vegetable oil

Dipping Sauce

  • cup mayonnaise

  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup

  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • ½ tsp. hot sauce

  • ¼ tsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • ¼ tsp. dry mustard

  • ¼ tsp. smoked paprika

  • tsp. garlic powder


  1. Prepare the Fritters: Gently stir together zucchini and 1 3/4 teaspoons of the salt in fine mesh strainer; let drain for 10 minutes, pressing slightly to remove liquid. Transfer zucchini to cheesecloth; wrap up and wring out as much liquid as possible.

  2. While zucchini drains, prepare the Dipping Sauce: Stir together mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, smoked paprika, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Cover, and place in refrigerator until ready to use.

  3. Transfer zucchini to a large bowl, and add flour, Parmesan, scallions, garlic powder, black pepper, egg, and 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest; stir with a fork until combined.

  4. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium until shimmering. Working in 3 batches, scoop 2 tablespoons batter for each Fritter into skillet and flatten carefully with a spatula. Cook Fritters over medium until golden-brown, about 3 minutes per side per batch. Transfer Fritters to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle all cooked Fritters evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Garnish with additional Parmesan. Serve with Dipping Sauce.

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